Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings – 4/15/24 Depth Chart

Breakdowns of key bullpen usage from yesterday's slate of games.

Welcome back to the latest edition of our Reliever Ranks series! This will bring you up-to-date bullpen depth charts every morning for the day’s games and makes for an excellent tool for those looking to stream saves or wins. This series runs seven days a week, so check in every morning to get your daily bullpen fix!




Transaction and Schedule Notes


  • The Philadelphia Phillies activated Orion Kerkering from the 15-day IL. His season was delayed due to an illness that kept him from ramping up during Spring Training. The 23-year-old righty displayed electric stuff during the Phillies’ postseason run last year, and despite a crowded and deep bullpen in Philly, Kerkering could work his way into a high-leverage role in due time.
  • The Minnesota Twins activated Caleb Thielbar from the 15-day IL. The southpaw has yet to make his season debut due to a hamstring injury. He’ll become one of the team’s top setup options and will fight with Steven Okert to be the top lefty option in the bullpen. Even at the ripe age of 37, Thielbar should continue to produce after pitching to a 3.21 ERA (174 IP) with a 1.13 WHIP and a 22.7% K-BB% while averaging more than 11 holds across the past four seasons. He notched hold number one in his season debut on Sunday.


Yesterday’s Performances

LAA 4 – BOS 5

HD: Justin Slaten (3)

SV: Kenley Jansen (4)

  • Working around a run, Kenley Jansen locked down the save and is already up to four on the year. While he’s found success, it’s concerning that Jansen sat two mph slower on his cutter, averaging just 92.3 mph on the pitch and even throwing one sub-90 mph. As a somewhat one-pitch pitcher, Jansen needs to have that cutter at its best if he wants to find success. When he started falling off in 2018, posting his first ERA above 3.00, it was a result of Jansen’s velo falling below 93 mph. His velocity continued to drop over the next two years and his production along with it. It took a near two-mph jump from 2020 to 2021 back up to 92.5 mph for him to recover his previous form. To further the point, Jansen relied on a 94.3 mph cutter last year and still posted the second-worst ERA of his career. Jansen’s never been bad, but at 36-years-old and with his velocity on the decline, this might be your last chance to sell high.


MIL 4 – BAL 6

W: Yennier Cano (2)

L: Abner Uribe (1)

HD: Danny Coulombe (2)

SV: Craig Kimbrel (3)

  • Abner Uribe has been a popular waiver add early in the season as he has received the majority of the Brewers’ save chances with Devin Williams on the mend. However, after a hot first week, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the young righty. Following three saves in his first three appearances, Uribe didn’t pitch for three days and then allowed two runs in his next outing but escaped with a lucky win. He’d go four days between his next appearances and was used with a four-run lead in the ninth. Then Sunday, four days after his last outing, he pitched the seventh and blew the team’s one-run lead, saddling him with the loss. We can’t be confident that Uribe is the team’s outright closer. I truly believe that Trevor Megill will take this job over at some point. He’s set to return from a concussion within the next week and we might not have to wait long to see him record a save. This may all be temporary as Williams is expected back at some point.
  • Despite decreased fastball velocity that has Craig Kimbrel sitting 93 on his best days, the pitch has still dominated and allowed Kimbrel to find success early on. His four-seamer is sporting a 99th percentile PLV and induced three whiffs with 47% CSW on Sunday. I’m still concerned that the lack of velocity backing his heater will burn him, but it’s hard not to be convinced when it performs as it has. Maybe Kimbrel isn’t that reliant on velocity and it’s more important for him to control his pitches. Kimbrel is home run-prone, so avoiding meatballs is essential. I think we can trust him for now as he’ll be getting plenty of save chances for a juggernaut Orioles squad.


KCR 1 – NYM 2

W: Brooks Raley (1)

L: Chris Stratton (1)

SV: Edwin Diaz (3)

  • Edwin Diaz hasn’t pitched much this season (6 IP), but he’s looked dominant when on the mound. The Mets are taking it easy on him after he missed all of last year due to injury, but he’s shown no lingering effects. His early confidence-inducing performance should inform us that he is back to being the number-one closer in baseball and has little competition for the title. His strikeout rate is over 40% and he only just now surrendered his first earned run of the season.


MIN 3 – DET 4

W: Will Vest (1)

L: Griffin Jax (1)

HD: Brock Stewart (4), Caleb Thielbar (1)

SV: Jason Foley (4)

  • Griffin Jax failed to put out a fire in the eighth and ended up with the loss. He’s been used as the team’s high-leverage reliever so far, grabbing just one save this year. It’s the same role he filled when Jhoan Duran was available and fantasy managers should understand he’s in a closer committee. He’s still rosterable in standard leagues because of his ratios and strikeout abilities as well as the occasional win or save he’ll net. However, both Brock Stewart and Steven Okert could be in line for a save before Duran returns. Jax and Stewart have pitched on consecutive days, so Okert could be the top option today.
  • Jason Foley continues to get the job done. He got a save due to matchups early on and never relinquished the closer role. Increased fastball velocity in his season debut got everyone excited, but he hasn’t been able to consistently maintain it across his outings. That could mean we see Foley’s strikeout numbers fall closer to the 20% mark he put up last year. In his current role though, even if he’s not as dominant as his first outing suggested, he’ll still be netting the majority of save opportunities in Detroit. The right-hander has now pitched on back-to-back days, so Shelby Miller or Andrew Chafin could be used in the ninth today.


ATL 9 – MIA 7

W: A.J. Minter (2)

L: Tanner Scott (3)

HD: Anthony Bender (4), Andrew Nardi (3)

SV: Raisel Iglesias (3)

  • Tanner Scott continues to struggle and it’s time to start considering alternative options to stash. Scott has failed to command his heater and already has three losses on the year. He may be able to hold on to the role longer than we expect as the next best options, Anthony Bender and Andrew Nardi, both have inflated ERAs north of Scott’s mark. The creative fix here is that A.J. Puk returns to the bullpen when one or both of Braxton Garrett and Edward Cabrera return to the rotation. Puk filled the closer role for the first half of 2023 and could take over the job by May if things turn out the way we expect them to. The southpaw may have been dropped in your league due to underwhelming performances as a starter, so you could catch your league-mates off guard by grabbing him to fill a different role down the line. Scott has pitched in each of the past two games, so expect Bender or Nardi to be the first options for the ninth depending on matchups.
  • Raisel Iglesias hasn’t had many save opportunities due to the lopsided nature of the Braves’ wins, but he’s made his chances count. The right-hander secured his third save in three tries on Sunday in perfect fashion. He should be a top-10 closer all year long because of his spot on a winning ballclub with a reliable track record. Iglesias has posted a sub-3.00 ERA in each of the past four seasons.


NYY 7 – CLE 8 (F/10)

W: Tyler Beede (1)

L: Caleb Ferguson (2)

  • Clay Holmes pitched the ninth after the Yankees offense tied things up in the top half. He’s been exceptional this year with a pristine ERA across eight innings while leading MLB with six saves. He should continue to get plenty of opportunities as the Yankees look like a strong club this year. It helps sporting the best groundball rate of his career which should help offset his lack of punchouts. Holmes has just six strikeouts this year, but he’s paired them with just one walk, which means he’s relying heavily on balls in play. As a groundball pitcher, Holmes is likely to sport an inflated WHIP, but with an elite ERA and plenty of saves, he’ll be rostered everywhere all year long. Holmes won’t be available today after pitching on back-to-back days, so expect Ian Hamilton to earn a save opportunity.
  • Emmanuel Clase faced his first speed bump on Sunday. Entering Sunday with a perfect ERA, Clase blew his first save in the top of the ninth. His offense bailed him out of a loss, but all it took was a couple of hits to put a dent in Clase’s ERA. This will happen occasionally as Clase isn’t an elite strikeout arm. Sitting with a 25% K% rate for his career, Clase relies on outs on balls in play and can get burned when those land for base hits. He’ll continue to earn every save opportunity in Cleveland and his elite contact suppression will ensure balls in play against him won’t do damage often.


TEX 5 – HOU 8

  • With a five-run lead in the ninth dwindling to just three runs, the Astros turned to Josh Hader to record the final out of the game. Hader struck out the only batter he faced and has yet to take off in Houston. He’s sporting a small-sample influenced 4.91 ERA and has recorded just one save thus far. He’s not at risk of losing his closer role at this current pace, but the Astros have gotten off to a dreadful start (6-11) and haven’t provided Hader with many opportunities. Wait for them to get on a groove, and then we’ll see if Hader is the pitcher he was in the National League.


CIN 11 – CHW 4

HD: Lucas Sims (3)

  • Having not pitched for five days, the Reds turned to Alexis Díaz for a maintenance outing with a seven-run lead. He struck out two and didn’t seem phased by the non-save situation. Díaz has settled down after a rough season debut in which he allowed three runs. Since then, he has a 1.59 ERA in 5.2 IP and has steadied the Reds bullpen for now. Díaz’s 2023 second-half struggles have me worried he’ll fall apart again at some point. However, with the lack of enticing options in Cincy, I don’t expect that to happen any time soon. If I was rooting for one reliever to take that role, it’d be Fernando Cruz and his devastating splitter.


WSN 6 – OAK 7

W: Mitch Spence (1)

L: Derek Law (1)

HD: Dany Jiménez (1), Lucas Erceg (4)

SV: Mason Miller (3)

  • Mason Miller has proven me wrong very fast. I expected the A’s to use him in an unorthodox role, allowing him to throw around 50 pitches every few days. It would keep him out of both win and save opportunities. On top of that, he has a lengthy injury history and could find his innings limited. Most importantly, as cheap as the A’s are, I expected them to limit his save chances to keep his arbitration salary down. Everyone’s proven me wrong as Miller has been used as a traditional closer and looked absolutely dominant doing so. Across eight innings, he has a 2.20 ERA and a 45.5% strikeout rate. His fastball slider combo has been incredible. The former sits 100.5 mph and owns a 95th percentile PLV, while the latter has a 42.6% CSW (86th percentile). He’s dope. The A’s have yet to use him on back-to-back days, so look for Dany Jiménez or Lucas Erceg to get a save chance today.


CHC 3 – SEA 2

HD: Yency Almonte (3), Mark Leiter Jr. (2), Héctor Neris (3)

SV: Adbert Alzolay (3)

  • Adbert Alzolay has looked pretty solid this year. There was a little uncertainty during Spring Training about whether he’d open the season as the closer, but he’s put those doubts to rest. His stuff can look underwhelming but that’s because Alzolay isn’t an overpowering pitcher. He’s a crafty righty with good command and can be considered the closer version of a Toby. He should be rostered as long as he has the role, but he doesn’t have top 10 closer upside. Both Alzolay and setup man Héctor Neris have pitched on consecutive days, but so have Mark Leiter Jr. and Yency Almonte. We could see some interesting usage out of the Cubs today.


SDP 6 – LAD 3

W: Yuki Matsui (2)

L: J.P. Feyereisen (1)

HD: Wandy Peralta (3)

SV: Robert Suarez (5)

  • Robert Suarez continues to dominate with his fastball. He’s now tied for the National League-lead with five saves. Suarez is exclusively turning to that heater and it’s hard to blame him. It sits 98 with increased iVB (89th percentile) which has allowed it to produce a 99th percentile, 11.1% ICR. The changeup that was thrown 34% of the time last year has taken a back seat. In his last four outings, he has not thrown a single changeup. I don’t think he can be a one pitch pitcher, but I’d love to see him prove me wrong.


Bullpen Depth Charts


Also, if you’re looking for a detailed list or ranking of RPs, check out Rick Graham’s weekly pieces:

The Hold Up: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Closing Time: Ranking the Top 30 Closers

Top 100 Relievers for Save+Hold Leagues

Jake Crumpler

A Bay Area sports fan and lover of baseball, Jake is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in English Literature. He currently writes fantasy articles for Pitcher List, is the lead baseball writer at The Athletes Hub, and does playing time analysis at BaseballHQ. Some consider his knowledge of the sport to be encyclopedic.

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